Israel launches air raids on Gaza, first since truce with Hamas

Israel launched air raids on the Gaza Strip after Palestinian groups in the besieged enclave sent incendiary balloons into southern Israel.

The overnight air strikes gave way to calm by morning, and there were no reports of casualties on either side.

The raids early on Wednesday come less than a month after Israel’s 11-day bombardment of Gaza in May and followed a march in occupied East Jerusalem by Jewish nationalists that drew Palestinian condemnation and anger.

The Israeli military said its aircraft attacked Hamas compounds in Gaza City and the southern town of Khan Younis and said it was “ready for all scenarios, including renewed fighting in the face of continued terrorist acts emanating from Gaza”.

The raids, the military said, came in response to the launching of the balloons, which caused 20 blazes in open fields in communities near Gaza.

A Hamas spokesman, confirming the Israeli attacks, told Reuters news agency that Palestinians would continue to pursue their “brave resistance and defend their rights and sacred sites” in Jerusalem.

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